Good things happen when you meet strangers*

08 Sep

It seems to me that we librarians work in bubbles. I work in a public library so I’m in the public library bubble. I like to picture this bubble as a geodesic dome, but it doesn’t matter how you picture it. What it means for me is the same: not only can I not remember the last time I on-purpose, in-person talked to an academic librarian about library things, but I can’t remember the last time I on-purpose, in person talked to any librarian (excluding coworkers) about library things. Of course, there’s social media. I read blogs, and I tweet and follow the twitters and facebooks of librarians outside my place of work. And when I’m feeling old skool, I read some listserv digest emails that have been festering in “old skool listservs outlook folder**.” But social media (or its archaic predecessors) doesn’t compare to the experience of meeting other librarians in person over food, or drink, or dance-partying.

That’s why conferences sing their siren song to us, and we all flock to any of the ones we can get ourselves to (or, preferably, get our libraries to get us to.)  But at conferences it can be hard to just MEET people. I feel like I’m in my own personal bubble (which I like to picture as a very small geodesic dome attached to an imaginary Vespa that I’m riding all throughout the conference.) The exception to this is portable conference bubble generally occurs when I can get myself to an informal gathering of people I already know by their twitter (or tumblr, or your social media of choice) handle. To that end I’d like to direct your attention a few things upcoming informal meetups. One is the Chicagoland KitLit Drinking Night, more information can be found here. The first meeting is on Saturday Sept. 17th, from 8-11pm. The Beacon Pub, incidentally, is the non-writing workplace of Stephanie Kuehnert Lewis, author of The Ballad of Suburbia and I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone.

And the YASF is hoping that our tweeps and facebookers will meet up with us during lunch at Anderson’s YA Lit conference on Sept. 24th. Once a table is found I’ll tweet from the account @awkwardlibris where I am sitting and then I’ll just believe (like a kid in a movie about Santa Claus) that YASFers and potential YASFers will flock to that table and awesome conversation is the end result.

*Title is a quote attributed to Yo-Yo Ma from Now, I’m not sure I agree with Mr. Ma, but I like his enthusiasm.

**Not the actual name of my outlook folder, the one on my outlook folder took up too much space on this post.

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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in Articles


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